Aussie lads' mag Zoo Weekly has been forced to remove several pictures from its Facebook page after they were ruled exploitative and degrading to women by the Australian advert censor.
One picture, posted in October, showed a bikini-clad
woman chopped in half across her stomach, along with the caption: Left or right? The other depicted a woman's bottom with a Nintendo logo on it and the caption: What would you call this console?
Both posts caused 'outrage'
among Facebook users and online feminist websites.
The Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) ruled both posts were in breach of two sections of the code of ethics relating to discrimination or vilification on the basis of gender, and of objectifying,
exploiting and degrading women. It also ruled that comments posted by Zoo's fans on the pictures were in breach of the code for using strong or obscene language .
Since July the ASB has considered the content of commercial Facebook pages,
including comments from fans, to be a form of advertising and have subjected them to the Advertising Code of Ethics.
However Zoo has criticised the ASB's decision, arguing that its Facebook page is simply an extension of its printed product and
therefore should be considered editorial:
To describe Zoo's Facebook page as a 'marketing communication' is to misunderstand the nature of modern media organisations and the way in which they use social media to engage
with their audience.
Photos of models pictured with Buddha statues published on the Internet by a men's magazine have caused an 'outcry' among Thai Buddhists.
Posted on Maxim magazine's Facebook page, one picture shows a lingerie-clad model posed with her hand on a
statue's head and on the statue's arm. Another photo shows the topless model with her hands covering her breasts and wearing only underpants posing among dozens of statues. A third photo shows the model Ashley Michaelsen posing for a Hometown Hotties
feature seated among the statues with her legs spread.
In response to complaints, Thai Culture Ministry permanent secretary Apinan Poshyananda said he would contact the National Office of Buddhism (NOB), and, because the photos were published
on the Internet, the Information Communication and Technology Ministry. He said he would also contact the Foreign Ministry because the photos were from another country.
The various Thai agencies would then notify the magazine about their objection
to the inappropriate use of a religious symbol.
Apinan said there have been many cases of Buddhist symbols being used inappropriately and that the Culture Ministry would produce a handbook in Thai and English on the use of Buddhist symbols for
commercial purposes in order to prevent future misuse.
Pornchai Pinyapong, president of the World Fellowship of Buddhist Youth, said he had seen the magazine photos and thought they were an insult to Buddhists. He planned to bring the issue to the
Parliament's Committee on Religions, Arts and Culture, as well as talk to the Culture Ministry and NOB. The government should push forward the draft legislation on protecting Buddhism so there would be punishments for those who mistreated religious
symbols, Pornchai added.
It seems that the best selling book of all times was somehow forced on people by everything in life that doesn't fit her nutter view of morality. Can't possibly be just down to
people's own choice to enjoy a little sexy entertainment.
Such is the power of the media hype Fifty Shades of Grey has become an overnight hit with young women and even teenagers who are reading it quite openly with none of the embarrassment which would normally have accompanied such a book before, even
including most of the Australian women's swimming team after discovering it in a service station on their way to the Games from Manchester, presumably alongside other novels and within sight of children.
It is not just EL James
and her own perverse imagination which are subverting public morals so dramatically; it is the whole of the communications industry which is driving e marketing to an audience who have become gradually desensitised over time by films and TV programmes
targeted often specifically at the 16-34 age group, and which increasingly feature sexually explicit material and bondage.
Sexually provocative music lyrics and videos by Madonna, Lady Gaga and Rihanna's S&M are popular with
teens and children. Retailers of bondage gear are also making a killing it seems with reports that the book has led to a surge in the sale of whips, handcuffs and other instruments of torture.
Literature lovers around the world have released a collective gasp, or perhaps a groan, at the news that the publishing phenomenon Fifty Shades of Grey has become the bestselling book in British history.
The erotic novel has sold in
excess of 5.3m copies in print and ebook, more than The Highway Code , Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, or Harry Potter
In a statement author EL James said:
My main ambition when I signed the
deal with Random House was to see my books in the shops. I simply had no idea they would be so successful and this is totally unexpected. The whole process has been both extraordinary and rewarding. I couldn't be more pleased with the sales and would
like to thank everyone involved.
Winner: Madam: Prostitutes, Punters, Puppets by Becky Adams (UK)
A really funny, heart-warming book that takes you through the naive beginnings of Becky's career, and through all the subsequent highs and lows, showing
her to be a lady with a strong heart and an honest willingness to learn and grow. Becky's story is fueled by her wish to improve the lives of others; she wrote I really wanted to get the book out before the Olympics, to try and counteract some of the
hysteria the Government are peddling about trafficking . Available at UK Amazon
Smut by Alan Bennett (UK)
Alan Bennet's fictional book comprises two stories, both about very ordinary English people who, like most ordinary people, have shocking and sensual things happening behind
closed doors. The characters get up to extraordinary sexual shenanigans and it is an incredibly charged and horny read, especially considering it comes from such an established writer at the age of 77!
Available at UK Amazon
Runner Up: There Is No Word For It by Laura Bridgeman and Serge Nicholson (UK)
This is a very important, unassuming book, for it gives us insight into why some people feel they have to change gender, and how they cope
with their trans journey and self, socially and sexually. It should be required reading in sex education and for all those who still have fears, suspicions, or confusion about trans individuals. It is engaging, funny, and very moving.
Available at UK Amazon
Ian Bruce is one-part performer and one-part artist. Under the name RubiCANE, he has produced a book of
pornographic drawings with accompanying prose by pornstars, playwrights and poets. It's a beautiful silk-bound art book; the drawings are all done by Ian, based on porn images from many orientations, physical bodies, and sexy scenarios. The text is about
porn, its limitations and triumphs, sex clubs, disability, and sex in society. www.rubicane.com
Runner Up: Mammoth Book of Gorgeous Guys (UK)
A triumphant small but fat book of photographs for women to ogle and treasure. Barbara Cardy has sourced a huge and sexy mix of pictures of men; some are really Renaissance
kinda beautiful, some rough hard-core, some soft and submissive, from all around the world. The book has a certain joy that we miss in much of today's erotic material. Perfect for the coffee table or the bedroom, this is a book take can be enjoyed on
many levels! Available at UK Amazon
Runner Up: Juxtapoz (USA)
Juxtapoz is America's biggest circulation art magazine, which is actually quite underground and sexy. They run a website which devotes much space to hot but not-so-explicit erotica and they
also publish explicit books on erotic art featuring by far the most exciting material from all over the world. These Erotica books are so popular that they are being regularly reprinted.
Available at UK Amazon
EL James' erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey , dubbed mummy porn by the British media, has become the country's fastest paperback to reach one million sales, trade figures showed.
The story took just 11 weeks to reach the
milestone, 25 weeks faster than the previous record holder, Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, according to figures from publishing tracking company Nielsen BookScan.
The book also holds the record sales for one week of 397,889 copies.
Both other titles in the trilogy are also selling well. In one week alone, the total of copies sold across the trilogy was around 856,000 copies.
According to Random House publishers, global sales for the series is in excess of 20 million, with North American sales of more than 15 million.
The New Zealand book censor has banned issue 163 of the UK magazine, Front, from sale in New Zealand claiming that it is 'objectionable'.
The censor explained:
The magazine is classified as objectionable because
it tends to promote and support the exploitation of young persons for sexual purposes.
The magazine is a glossy, sexually orientated British periodical targeted at young adult men. It features photo-spreads of young, scantily clad
women with their buttocks and breasts visible, interspersed with interviews and satire, and sections on drinking, fashion, consumer electronics and music. There are two pages of explicit phone sex advertisements, most of which depict young female models
in sexualized poses. Many of these models present as younger teenagers or are accessorised to look like adolescents, and the accompanying text reinforces their youthfulness with multiple references to virginity, innocence, naiveté, and being under home
supervision. Statements that the girls are "18+" do little to counter the effect. The advertisments encourage sexual interest in young persons and promote them as sexually available and appropriate objects of adult sexual fantasy.
After 28 years and 5,000 semi-clad and sometimes completely naked women, Germany's biggest-selling tabloid Bild, has announced that it was dropping its Page One Girl.
Bild is Europe's best-selling and the world's seventh biggest newspaper. It
presented the decision as a spontaneous attempt by male staff to atone for decades of embarrassing sexism, although commentators said it was more likely it was driven by commercial concerns.
It is perhaps a small step from the viewpoint
of women, the paper wrote in an editorial-style report. But it is a big step for Bild and for every man in Germany.
The paper said the decision had been made on International Women's Day, when the paper was run and edited solely by men.
Three hundred female staff from secretaries to section editors were given the day off.
But the German media commentator Christian Meier said that the Bild's circulation figures have been declining for years and the paper desperately needs to
attract new readers, particularly within the female market.
Men's magazine FHM pulled a magazine cover after being accused of racism.
The March edition of the Philippines FHM had featured white actress Bela Padilla posing in a pink swimsuit surrounded by dark-skinned models, accompanied by the caption stepping out of the shadows
When the magazine uploaded a sneak preview of the cover on their Facebook page, it was recieved with criticism from readers who branded the concept racist . One reader posted: Seriously, did you guys not sense how racist this
Comments on Twitter followed including shame on FHM Philippines , and accused the magazine of being racist as well as sexist and horrendously backwards .
Bosses at FHM were quick to respond and the
March edition of the magazine featured a different cover when it went on sale this week. Still Bela Padilla, but this time by herself.
And of course the 'controversy' has propelled the previously little-known actress, 'out of the shadows' and into
the spotlight. She appeared on BBC News this week to defend the thought process behind the original concept. Her name also began trending worldwide on Twitter where she has gained an army of new followers offering their support. Don't fault Bela, she
just did her job, one fan Tweeted.
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